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Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur Duet on Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ on ‘American Idol’

Kree Harrison Janelle Arthur
Kevin Winter, Getty Images (2)

Aspiring country stars Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur sang a duet of Madonna’s pop hit ‘Like a Prayer’ on ‘American Idol‘ on Wednesday night (March 27), turning in a performance that earned a split reaction from the judging panel.

Wednesday night was devoted to the music of Detroit, with many of the contestants focusing on the Motown catalog. And while Harrison or Arthur could have arguably pulled off any of those hits with style, they chose instead to pair up for the Madonna tune — which turned out not to be a great choice for either one of them. The two remaining country singers in the competition told Ryan Seacrest they have been wanting to sing together for a while, and they felt they could do the song justice by borrowing from an arrangement Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles has previously used.

Not that their performance was terrible by any means. Both of them sang well, and they brought different elements to the table; Harrison was stronger vocally, while Arthur projected the polished star quality that is one of her greatest strengths. But they chose a piece of material that didn’t serve as much of a showcase for either one of them, and while there wasn’t anything all that wrong about what they did, it didn’t fulfill the promise of their best performances, either.

Nicki Minaj said she felt “proud and excited” for them, but added that Harrison looked like she had flown in to duet with an ‘Idol’ contestant, so far did she outshine Arthur on the track — a sentiment Randy Jackson agreed with.

Mariah Carey disagreed somewhat, acknowledging Arthur’s pitch problems but adding, “This was a sisterhood moment.”

Keith Urban concurred that the pair had worked well together, and felt that they both sang well.

Arthur and Harrison will both learn their fate on the results show on Thursday night (March 28).

Next: Janelle Arthur Sings the Beatles' 'I Will' on 'American Idol'

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